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Sound Bars.. educate me on them please (1 Viewer)

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C Bennett
As the title says..im a bit older school and used to really be into music and home theater. Thats what my tax return $$ would go into..now days getting older im not quite as much into it as I was. Still use HT and listen to music now and then but getting older im not quite as into it. What I have now is all a bit older I have a Panasonic Viera Plasma TV..will have that till it conks out. I have a 5.1 Surround sound system currently. I do not ever plan on upgrading over the 5.1 I dont have the room, space or most of all need. So anything beyond 5.1 isnt a consideration. My current speakers are a hodgepodge on ok speakers but older that sounds fine to me....I dont have the "ear" some do for the sonic balancing so I got lucky. (Scotch is the same to me while I can enjoy a $100+ bottle there isnt a huge difference to me in a $50 bottle..Just dont have THAT exquisite of taste buds i guess) I have Mirage Omni 60's as fronts and a set of old(that the Omni 60's replaces) Polk S4's are surrounds and a Atlantic Technology Subwoofer.. Currently I dont have a HT Receiver as it just refused to power on(no idea why but its 10 years old I think im replacing that with a Denon AVR s540BT.

I went looking for the Receiver locally and went into the lone local store(non chain store a true local small business) and looked around they didnt have anything really in my price range they like to start at the $500-600 range and go from there I dont need that.. but while there I saw they had a bunch of speakers and some sound bars.. I asked about the bars he showed me a few the one was a Sonos the other a Viera and maybe a Denon and Def Tech.. I didnt think being smaller in size that they would be worth looking at..I mean how big can those speakers be and how much sound can they put out VS my old setup.. They left me really impressed. I was almost shocked...So I realize that that was in a controlled setting and I didnt ask what receiver power source etc,etc it was hooked to..but are any of these good/great values? He did say some are a complete system and included the surrounds others are just the bar surrounds must be bought separately. My living room i would consider on the smaller side.. I would be using the Atlantic Technology subwoofer as a bass boost... let me know your thoughts oh and like $500ish bucks tops price wise..I mean look if something that sounded like AWESOME was $590 id splurge but $500 or less is more comfortable for the WIFE acceptance factor..

Obviously a system that was a all inclusive would also be better.. this would be for general TV watching, using just the bar for better/clearer sound than the TV provides.. HT movie watching with the Sub going and some music now and then

Would this be worth doing or since its "not broken" and works ok just keep the speakers I have and move on?
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Given the state of complicated traditional surround sound systems and their eyeball-glazing 150 pg. manuals, soundbars are certainly an attractive, relatively “plug and play” option. However, they cannot be easily used with a traditional AVR because they are a processor, pre-amp, and multiple amplifiers all in one chassis.

Soundbars are not without their limitations, however. Virtually all are all-inclusive, proprietary systems with no options or provisions for upgrades. Surround speakers are typically wireless, which can be blinky. Some do permit the use of a subwoofer of your choice, but more commonly you’re stuck with the one that comes with the system. And it’s typically wireless as well. Check the Amazon reviews of any system of interest, and you’ll quickly see that most can’t garner more than a 60-70% approval rating (combined 4-5 star reviews). Check the 1 and 2 star reviews, and you’ll see that most complaints are related to wireless issues.

But if you’re really interested in the reduced footprint of a soundbar, you could opt for a passive soundbar. A passive soundbar has speaker connections for internal front left, right and center , and as such can be used with an AVR. That gets you the benefit of using traditional wired rear speakers, and the use of a subwoofer of your choice. But unfortunately, you also retain the above-mentioned complication.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 
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C Bennett
Ok I have been trying to educate myself and you really helped me..I was so out of tough I thought that it actually plugged(not just the passive ones all of them) into a AVR...this the powered ones eliminate that need (for the AVR) and reduce footprint.

If I was looking to do this and have it(and use the cash id have spent on a AVR) id be looking at a sound bar that can reliably do 5.1 surround and that either has its own(good not junk) Subwoofer OR preferably that I could use my own powered Atlantic Technologies sub on.. id be looking in the $200-450 ish price range maybe stretching it to $500 if something super great was in that range.. Any suggestions..many of the ones im looking at dont have the ability to use my Sub ..id prefer to or at least have the system have as good a sub as mine(Atlantic Technologies T70pbm)
 
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C Bennett
Looking a bit more it seems I may end up with just my typical AVR system most of the bars i looked at were relatively pricey...like $1K+ and i was thinking if i could do a bar and use MY Sub for the same price as a AVR id maybe do it looks like a no go though.
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Well, think about it: As I said, a soundbar is a processor, pre-amp, and multiple amplifiers all in one chassis. Add to that rear speakers and a sub – that’s a lot to ask for a mere $250 or even $500. Even at $1k – that would only be entry-level for a traditional system. So that’s really not a lot for a full 5.1 system, even if it is a soundbar.

What it boils down to:

Traditional system: Great performance, but complicated to set up and often to use as well.
Soundbar: Great convenience, but less performance.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 
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C Bennett
Done even a little more research and I think id be looking at what they/is called a 5.1.2 sound bar system. the living room is smaller its 20'x12' so not that big. I do want surround sound i actually do enjoy that on the rare occasion I use the HT speakers/receiver anymore. I keep searching and stuff like the Klipsch cinema 600 seems decent you can buy it apparently with the surrounds or without and add them later the Sub at a 10" subwoofer seems decent but im not sure if there is anything else in this price range that is similar. any thoughts? I do want it to have a decent subwoofer if I end up not being able to use and sell mine..
 

SmCaudata

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Came here late, was looking for an active soundbar with a non-proprietary sub out and came across this. Didn't realize you already bought it.

I'm throwing this here in case others peruse your thread.


Both the bar and Sub at closeout prices. $580 for the set.
 
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C Bennett
Came here late, was looking for an active soundbar with a non-proprietary sub out and came across this. Didn't realize you already bought it.

I'm throwing this here in case others peruse your thread.


Both the bar and Sub at closeout prices. $580 for the set.
Yup I looked that that...at first I thought about it I saw it browsing Crutchfield on Saturday..that was when I decided a sound bar would probably suit me best rather than a new AVR....I just really searched deep down and finally said..look you have used your HT system MAYBE at best 3-4 times in a YEAR the last 2 years...5 tops....back when I got the system im replacing it was 2012ish... and id use it weekly back then at least 4X a month...

Then for whatever reason I just wouldnt bother using it when id watch a movie..and I was watching more movies later at night after the family was in bed...I retired last year about a year ago now..(im 51 now retired at 50) and I have really not noticed any "change" in my listening or watching habits...aka im just not really using the HT/AVR system more than 4-5 times a YEAR...so i figured a decent sound bad would be in order/fit my style more now.

What I really wish that klipsch or someone at a reasonable price point would make was a system you could piece/put together as you go and or even use your own equipment..something like say being able to use your OWN Subwoofer if you have one...in Klipsch and this one you have shown you can..BUT with the Klipsch you get one by default....and the ability to add in say have 4 clips in the back for surround speakers... your own surround OR add wireless surrounds would be a +

I wasnt that worried about the ATMOS part..its cool but as long as I get a decent semblance of surround..thats all im looking for now days.. I think if I were to design a bar it would be just like the Klipsch or one you posted for your front channels L/C/R would be on the sound bar.... id probably have the top speakers also as a upgrade(for ATMOS) then id have it have a Sub out connection so you could use your own....and also have the ability to add in a good quality sub like the Klipsch one IF you needed it....then it would also for the surrounds ONLY have 4 clip/surround so you could use/provide your own surrounds if wanted...OR also have a Klipsch like wireless option.. I think a option like that would be a perfect sound bar for someone like me doing a slight sidegrade/or downgrade to clear up clutter BUT still want to use a few things(Sub and or surrounds) that you already may have..(and I get you may need to use some powered speakers as surrounds as the bar is probably already crammed with stuff let alone having a separate small amp for the surrounds) bit it would be a cool option...to be able to use your own Sub and own powered surrounds ... as a matter of fact im going to try something with mine....

I wont have the Surrounds right off..I will probably add those in later...that said...I think I may try to use my Atlantic technology 10" sub thats already by the TV..and then set the wireless(since my room is only 20' at its longest point)Klipsch 10" subwoofer(supposedly good for 30') in the back and have a dual subwoofer system. The one thing i liked on the Klipsch is it comes with the wireless sub but it also has a port for a wired subwoofer to be added ..im assuming again from reading and reviews you could actually use BOTH ..i believe that would work???
 
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SmCaudata

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Yup I looked that that...at first I thought about it I saw it browsing Crutchfield on Saturday..that was when I decided a sound bar would probably suit me best rather than a new AVR....I just really searched deep down and finally said..look you have used your HT system MAYBE at best 3-4 times in a YEAR the last 2 years...5 tops....back when I got the system im replacing it was 2012ish... and id use it weekly back then at least 4X a month...

Then for whatever reason I just wouldnt bother using it when id watch a movie..and I was watching more movies later at night after the family was in bed...I retired last year about a year ago now..(im 51 now retired at 50) and I have really not noticed any "change" in my listening or watching habits...aka im just not really using the HT/AVR system more than 4-5 times a YEAR...so i figured a decent sound bad would be in order/fit my style more now.

What I really wish that klipsch or someone at a reasonable price point would make was a system you could piece/put together as you go and or even use your own equipment..something like say being able to use your OWN Subwoofer if you have one...in Klipsch and this one you have shown you can..BUT with the Klipsch you get one by default....and the ability to add in say have 4 clips in the back for surround speakers... your own surround OR add wireless surrounds would be a +

I wasnt that worried about the ATMOS part..its cool but as long as I get a decent semblance of surround..thats all im looking for now days.. I think if I were to design a bar it would be just like the Klipsch or one you posted for your front channels L/C/R would be on the sound bar.... id probably have the top speakers also as a upgrade(for ATMOS) then id have it have a Sub out connection so you could use your own....and also have the ability to add in a good quality sub like the Klipsch one IF you needed it....then it would also for the surrounds ONLY have 4 clip/surround so you could use/provide your own surrounds if wanted...OR also have a Klipsch like wireless option.. I think a option like that would be a perfect sound bar for someone like me doing a slight sidegrade/or downgrade to clear up clutter BUT still want to use a few things(Sub and or surrounds) that you already may have..(and I get you may need to use some powered speakers as surrounds as the bar is probably already crammed with stuff let alone having a separate small amp for the surrounds) bit it would be a cool option...to be able to use your own Sub and own powered surrounds ... as a matter of fact im going to try something with mine....

I wont have the Surrounds right off..I will probably add those in later...that said...I think I may try to use my Atlantic technology 10" sub thats already by the TV..and then set the wireless(since my room is only 20' at its longest point)Klipsch 10" subwoofer(supposedly good for 30') in the back and have a dual subwoofer system. The one thing i liked on the Klipsch is it comes with the wireless sub but it also has a port for a wired subwoofer to be added ..im assuming again from reading and reviews you could actually use BOTH ..i believe that would work???

The closest that comes to piecing things together like you say, in my opinion, are actually the Sonos pieces. I had some Sonos 1 speakers around the house before they integrated Alexa and what not. I also had Connect to get Sonos through my sound system. Then in the new house, I ended up picking up the new Sonos Amp. The sound is REALLY good for the price.

Anyway, I needed a 43" TV to fit into the cutout in the new house but hated the sound out of the TV so I picked up a Sonos Beam. For a tiny little bar it sounds great. I added a Sub to that. If I wanted, I could add my 1s as rear speakers for a 5.1 style setup. It's not cheap, but it really is plug and play and the timing is spot on, I've never had my Sonos speakers mis-timed. With the AMP I can add my own Sub, but the Sonos is tuned to support the Sonos speakers and sounds great for what I need.

Another option is Yamaha with their Music Cast. You could get receiver and a passive sound bar. You could add your own sub and then get rear music cast speakers. Much more expensive but will sound better than most home theater in a box setups.
 
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Got the Klipsch Cinema 600 today. Came in 3 days from B&H photo/video. Set up was easy took just a hour and most of that was moving stuff around. I said what the heck and hooked up my Atlantic Technology 10" sub AND the Klipsch wireless 10" sub figured if it was just TOO Bassey id just use 1..it sounded good. played a few movie selections worked fine..I really DO need the surrounds to round out the system that said it plays everything well..Sounds good with music..gets as loud as id ever anymore like to play it at..that was one of my primary concerns..If I wanted to listen to something on the "loud" side would it work answer was yes..works fine for what I need.

Threw in a couple movies and mini series.. Band of Brothers, Conan the Barbarian(original one with Arnold ), LOTR, and Minority Report..worked great, subwoofers kicked well when turned up.. I like that you can control the surround, subwoofer level and your front sound stage levels also..

Then I threw in some Pink Floyd Delicate sound of thunder Disc 1 and it sounded great..a little Rush (moving pictures) and some Queen worked and sounded great for a sound bar..I can say I made the right choice..this cleaned up a lot of things..gave me more room and does everything I ask of it well.

The "similated" surround was "ok" thats why I said for it to really shine I DO need the surround speakers those should come in May unless I find something else I need for my Birthday lol.
 
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C Bennett
Always glad to see a happy ending! :)

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
yes, I thought the guy at the AV store was nuts..then i heard a nice one(top of the line Sonos system) and liked it I like this Klipsch also! Highly recommend the surrounds though thats the only lacking part..best part is they are something thats available.
 

Bryan^H

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I've been looking at the Klipsch 600. A friend of mine has a high end Samsung soundbar, and after he gave me a demonstration through many 4K discs, I have to say soundbars can be really impressive. I was anti-soundbar for a long time. That has changed, and to be really honest I wish I could go back and rethink my options before I bought all my speakers, and receiver.
 
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C Bennett
I've been looking at the Klipsch 600. A friend of mine has a high end Samsung soundbar, and after he gave me a demonstration through many 4K discs, I have to say soundbars can be really impressive. I was anti-soundbar for a long time. That has changed, and to be really honest I wish I could go back and rethink my options before I bought all my speakers, and receiver.
Me too for years I was a dedicated lower to mid range price wise separates fan. JBL's Polk S4's Mirage Omni 60's, Atlantic Technology, the lower(sub $350) end receivers from Kenwood and then Onkyo... I used them a lot early on..back when you went to block buster for videos and probably back then used it a few times a week.. as time went by and i got older my movie veiwing habits changed a bit and I just wasnt using the system like i used to..went from getting annew movie like every week to maybe..maybe.. 1 time a month and now I cant tell you the last time i was at a movie or got one..it was a bit ago though...now days im more apt to just watch a TV show and a occasional movie..but i almost never wanted to turn on the surround system just to watch TV...now with the bar its as simple as pushing the power on button,

I guess if you get to the point im at its just a simpler,easier, and probably cheaper than upgrading a system again and its pretty plug and play too..really takes out having to wire things to the right points using the right wires..as a matter of fact I had mine set up when i got the system the Receiver and TV back in 2012..I noticed yesterday that my cable was hooked up by non hdmi means but it could have been hooked using HDMI..just never was...I didnt know lol..so now it is..basically I will get more use and still have a decent system with the bar..I get it wont be as awesome as a dedicated system..but it clears a lot of space and still gives you decent sound and sounds good.
 

Greg.K

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I picked up one of these on Black Friday when it was $250 off: https://www.vizio.com/en/sound-bar/elevate

It's really nice from an ease of use perspective, even on my older non-ARC TV. Sounds good, and the sub puts out plenty of bass for a family room setup. In fact I had to turn it down a bit.

Watching the front speakers rotate up for Atmos content is fun.
 
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I picked up one of these on Black Friday when it was $250 off: https://www.vizio.com/en/sound-bar/elevate

It's really nice from an ease of use perspective, even on my older non-ARC TV. Sounds good, and the sub puts out plenty of bass for a family room setup. In fact I had to turn it down a bit.

Watching the front speakers rotate up for Atmos content is fun.
Yeah that looks pretty slick!
 

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